Clarissa A. Peterson is an Executive Coach, Speaker, Author and Human Resources Executive. She most recently served as Senior Vice President – People at The Barack Obama Foundation. Clarissa has experience in all areas of HR, with special interests in leadership & team development, executive coaching, board development, cultural transformation, and mindfulness.
Clarissa is President of Ohana HR and works with executives and their teams in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. The goal is to accelerate leadership effectiveness of senior leaders and build high performing teams. Currently, Clarissa works with C-level leadership teams primarily in the healthcare industry, including academic medical centers, integrated delivery systems, health plans, and healthcare associations.
During her career trajectory, Ms. Peterson has served in several executive leadership positions. Before joining the Obama Foundation, Clarissa was Chief Human Resources Officer of Sophos, a global cybersecurity company. Prior to that Clarissa was the Chief Human Resources & Ethics Officer of Abt Associates, a professional services firm that applies systems analysis and social science techniques to social and economic problems. She also served as Chief People Officer for DLA Piper, one of the world’s largest law firms.
Clarissa is the past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), the internationally recognized certifying organization for the HR profession with more than 500,000 certificants in 100 countries. Peterson hosts a live weekly global webinar for HRCI - Alchemizing HR: Navigating What’s Next and co-hosted the podcast, Inevitable: The Future of Work.
Peterson is a graduate of the University of Maryland, University College and holds the Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR); Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and LPEC (Leading Professional in Ethics and Compliance) certifications. She holds several additional certifications including, Hogan Assessment, Hogan Advanced Feedback, DISC, Myers-Briggs (MBTI), Mergers and Acquisitions integration and Korn-Ferry Leadership Architect, Interview Architect and 360 Feedback Facilitation and Interpretation.
Clarissa co-authored the book Maximizing Your HR Efforts (Thomson Reuters /Aspatore, 2009) and is a co-author of the e-book The Rise of HR: The Wisdom of 72 Thought Leaders (2015).
Peterson currently serves on several Boards of Directors including, Friendship Place, Dinte Executive Search and Project WHEN.